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Battlefield Relics
clive dickens


Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 162
Location: REDDITCH WORCESTERSHIRE
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Wink
Can any of our South African friends help me with this one. Last time I was in South Africa I paid a visit to the South African military museum in Pretoria in the museum shop they had a framed box of various items picked up at Isandlwana such as buttons box straps ammunition and 24th Regt badges. On the back of the framed box was an official South African government note which was a guarantee that the items where all genuine and from the battle site.
Since it is a offence to take any items found on battlefields is this not a case of double standards by the South African authorities ?
Clive
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Martin Everett


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 784
Location: Brecon
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Clive,

I have also been in the shop at the Mil Museum in JHB. It probably reflects the tough time they are having with funding the museum. I myself found it most unusual that a museum is selling genuine artefacts. It is not a practice which would be condoned in the UK as would damage the museum's ability to acquire fresh donations.

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Martin Everett
Brecon, Powys
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Neil Aspinshaw


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 289
Location: Loughborough
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Bit of a hot potato this one, there has been quite a few "Isandlwana" relic for sale on ebay, these do seem to fit the appearance of these shop bought type.
I saw one of them for sale at Birmingham a couple of weeks ago, whilst it looked "authentic" enough, there was one thing which made me nervous about its authenticity.
There were two Martini .450 bullets in the frame, looking closely, the bases are flat. Therin lies my concern. Martini bullets of the time were paper wrapped around the shank. This was applied and then twisted to a small tadpole tail underneath. To facilitate this "tail" the base had a cupped aperture underneath so this twist was able to lay flush under the bullet.

Fact is thousands of Martini rounds were fired over the next twenty years, just because it is old, it doesn't mean its a relic.

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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Surely no-one would be so gullible as to buy items such as that simply on the strength of a claim by another person (South African Gov't employee or not) that they had all been recovered from the field at Isandlwana?

I imagine most people would want just a little bit more info with regard to the provenance of the collection? Such as when they were found and by whom, and where they have been in the meantime? (If found on the field a very long time ago, then that might get the museum off the charge of breaking RSA law, although still not upholding the spirit of it if encouraging the collecting or hoarding of such artefacts today).

Anyone could say they were "found at Isandlwana." Anyone could claim anything at all about them. Is the museum selling its own long held artefacts or have they acquired them more recently in order to flog on? However genuine they are, or appear to be (and they may well be, of course, but who knows?), if I were trying to sell them as genuine Isandlwana artefacts picked up on the field, I'd expect a prospective purchaser to come up with: "Who says so?" And I'd hardly expect a certification by the "South African gov't" to carry much weight on its own.

Or am I being cynical?

Peter
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Battlefield Relics
John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 982
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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How odd that the museum at Saxonwold would sanction such a thing, when AMAFA, despite their limited resources, are attempting to curtail the trade in such items on certain auction sites.

An odd case of left hand, right hand?

John Y.
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clive dickens


Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 162
Location: REDDITCH WORCESTERSHIRE
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Confused
Peter
I should also like to point out that the Official South African goverment stamp was on the back of the case along with the guarantee ofiot being genuine items also the Martini cases where genuine.I think it is double standards by the SA goverment a case of do as I say not do as I do.
Clive
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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Clive

Yes, I agree with you entirely that there appears to be a clear case of double standards here, and - going by the remarks above - there certainly seems to be a consensus on this. However, if I were a potential purchaser of this box of "goodies", no "official stamp" of the SA Government purporting to verify the provenance of its contents would have the slightest effect on any doubts or otherwise which I might have had about the reliability of the claim.

In fact, it would simply make me more suspicious! Notwithstanding the fact that the items may, of course, be genuine all along, I reckon that anyone who would allow themselves to be swayed merely by an "official government stamp" used as some sort of "verification" must be soft in the head.

The only person - or persons - who could verify the claim would be the one(s) who picked the stuff up at Isandlwana (or wherever) - not some chap with a handy stamp.

Peter
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clive dickens


Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 162
Location: REDDITCH WORCESTERSHIRE
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Peter
I quite agree and at R890 it seem a very high price to pay for something which is not genuine.
Clive
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Archaeological Artifacts
Rich
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You know it's been evident that in the field of archaeology there is always the question of provenance and "genuineness" of artifacts. It's has been worse now because those who traffic in illicitly gained objects or objects
that are faked to be old or genuine realize how lucrative it can be. Unfortunately, people get taken as well as a whole field dedicated to the study of the past. At this point, since old AZW objects appear to be very popular, I wonder perhaps if it may be in the interest of collectors and buyers now to have an organization that would act as a clearing house specifically geared in focusing on AZW objects to check veracity of provenance claims and whether an obejct is, like Coke, the "real thing". I think a seal of approval coming from a body like that is preferable to just having anybody go out and put a stamp on an object saying it's "approved" whatever that means. Couldn't this be feasible in the UK?
BATTLEFIELD RELICS
AMB


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 897
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Very surprised that the SA Govt is allowing this to happen in one of their own Museum shops. Not the message to send to the world.
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Battlefield Relics
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